MMA’s two-day golden jubilee convention on the theme ‘This India Knows No Boundaries’ drew to a close on February 4. The first session of Day Two on Media and Entertainment saw speakers underlining the need for creating a media ecosystem that enveloped the consumer irrespective of time and space.
Srinivasan K Swamy, MD and CEO, RK Swamy BBDO, chaired the session, and set the tone for the session with his initial remarks. Noting that feature films would be an area of significant impact, within media and entertainment, for Indian players to go global, he said, “We produce a fourth of the feature films made, but these account for only 6 per cent of the total revenues. My interpretation is that adequate marketing hasn’t gone into the area. If English films can be dubbed in Korean, why can’t Indian films be dubbed in English?”
Another industry that had made significant inroads was animation, with an estimated $15 billion in revenues to come in by 2008, Swamy said.
The first speaker, Bhaskar Das, EVP, The Times of India, expressed optimism for the print medium based on the rise of literacy. Explaining that the decline of the print medium had been witnessed in any country when C&S had seen a boom, he reasoned that the last three years had been far better, indicating stability in the future.
“It appears as though the future will be a scenario of all media integrating into one single platform. Technology has blurred industry boundaries. Today, anything and everything is competition, and everything is effectively media. Broadcasting is being replaced by ‘broad catching’. The need is to create a media ecosystem that envelops the consumer irrespective of time and space. People don’t stop using the media – they just use them differently. Competing is out of fashion – you have to complement,” asserted Das.
He explained the possibilities in the future through the popular presentation on ‘Evolving Personalised Information Construct’ (EPIC) (the hypothetical case of Google and Amazon coming together to form ‘Googlezon’, and the media scenario in 2014).
Speaking on the ‘Soft Power’ that India possessed, Puneet Johar, Senior VP-Marketing and Communication, STAR India, drew the attention of the audience to the fact the media and entertainment being idea-led industries, had the opportunity to conquer global markets.
Explaining some success stories on television, he said, “What led to STAR Plus’ success was foreign formats. What led to STAR One’s success was the Indian format. ‘Nach Baliye’ was a tribute to Indian creativity. Two million downloads of a clip from a show on video i-Pods did not affect prime time ratings. The opportunity is to directly own the consumer leading to higher revenues.”
Underlining the possibilities for the Indian media and entertainment industry abroad, Johar cited the example of Rajnikant’s ‘Muthu’ (to a spontaneous burst of applause) dubbed as ‘The Dancing Maharaja’, which ran for 23 weeks in cinema halls in Japan.
Summing up, Swamy said, “We know that global competition is here to stay. All of us need to look at global strategies.” The media and entertainment industry in India, the speakers agreed, should know no boundaries in the era of convergence.